It was bound to happen.
We have been talking about the difficulties faced between the legacy air carriers and the new baby lines for awhile now and for good reason. These economic times give everyone pause as to how their life is affected by what may happen tomorrow. For some airlines there may not be a tomorrow or their tomorrow will see them transformed into something vastly different then they are today.
A week or so ago Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines declared bankruptcy protection or Chapter 11 as it is sometimes called. These two airlines are some of the last legacy air carriers left as American went though its own Bankruptcy awhile ago and was reorganized as it purchased Trans World Airlines (TWA) – I think it was TWA they purchased anyway. As the two remaining legacy carriers to go through bankruptcy there has been a sort of procedure set in motion on how they too must change.
The change they must undergo is not a simple one, and in the end could cause the airline industry to change once again. They need to change to compete with the low cost airlines of today un bound by deregulation and in an environment vastly different then the pre-mordial soup of yesteryear. Many people will be watching to see how they manage this change, and if the change will actually help them in the long run.
In the short-run there are many hurdles to be jumped and many holes to avoid, but these two airlines are solid, trusting, and know the ropes. What caused their need for Chapter 11 protection is complex and a story riddled with rumor, but change is on the horizon, just so long as its not the horizon over the next hill.